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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Somalian Pirates.

To all our Friends and Family,

I am sure you have heard some of the news about the four Americans hostages killed recently and we may have crossed your mind. So I'd like to reassure you about our plans. Bill and I are not now or anytime soon headed to the Arabian Sea, the coast off Somalia or any other hot spot of pirate activity. For good reason. First off our even being in that part of the world is a long way off. Second, we have discussed it ourselves and with many other cruisers and the only way we would every consider transiting that area in the current climate of violence would be in a convoy and yes it was a very poor choice they made when they decided to leave the convoy. Third, we don't need to go there at all. There are other routes. People do choose to transit the area because it a route that gets you to the Med. In fact it shaves off the several thousand mile trip down the east coast of Africa and around the treacherous Cape of Good Hope. So if we decide we absolutely positively have to get from A to B we can ship the boat for roughly $10,000 and the price of two airfares -heck we are paying thousands for a new radar and have many tens of thousands more in other cruising equipment aboard so we would find a way to manage that option . Our lives and Island Bound are well worth the cost

I will share that it touched my heart to read the reports. I saw a picture of the Seattle couple sitting on the deck of their boat smiling and laughing. It is hard to imagine them gone. I fell asleep last night sending up prayers and wondering what their last minutes were like. Its not like the movies......people are really getting hurt there and in many other places in our world. We humans can be violent souls. Turns out there are more than 700 hostages currently being held by pirates. Unbelievable.

Bill has a pretty good idea for countering the ongoing piracy though it is fighting violence with violence which in the long run truly isn't the way we should be acting as human beings. His idea is to buy a dozen or so capable cruising boats and make them look exactly like a cruising couple is aboard and then set up stings. Inside would be a whole group of Special Forces in full body armor and with high tech guns and ammo, enough to blow them out of the water right through the hull. If we were to do that a few times and the big tankers ran the same sort of stings the pirates would surely decide that the pickings were better elsewhere. If we were persistent enough they would run out of crews willing to do the dirty work. (I nearly choked when Reuters quoted the pirate boss as being mad because he had more than $100,000 invested in his crew!) Paying a ransom is the wrong answer. It just encourages them. Yet if it were me I would be praying that my friends and family were busy holding bake sales and car washes to drum up the cash. Our thoughts go out to the families and we hope that things change soon. Maybe this will be the beginning of the end?

Being out here full time means we have put a great deal of thought into what we are doing. As have all the other cruisers around the world in their own boats. We talk about it amongst ourselves and we keep in touch. All over the world boaters use VHF nets and the Ham radio to share important information amongst themselves And are quick to pass along any news about dangerous areas and problems. So as a group we are very informed and very opinionated about the subject. Please be assured, we are just happily basking in the sunny spring of Puerta Vallarta. Now that that's over I am going to try and talk Bill into going into PV and seeing the circus!

kat (and Bill

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